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September 17, 2021, 01:03:20 am

Author Topic: UMEP Math Vs physics?  (Read 1912 times)  Share 

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mabajas76

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UMEP Math Vs physics?
« on: July 04, 2021, 01:25:13 pm »
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Hi, Hope everyone is well!
So I am currently in year 11 doing spec, methods, physics, chem, R&S 3/4 and Eng lan. I have 90-100 averages in nearly all of them. I am also doing the Australian physics Olympiad later this year and so have been studying ahead on a bunch of topics+doing the previous exams.
So I am hoping to do a uni subject next near at Melbourne uni (Only one with physics and like one of the few that have a math one) and am not sure whether to do it for Math or physics. I enjoy physics more but I still really enjoy math and I am not sure which one would help me the most in year 12. Like would doing UMEP Math help me more in Spec, Methods and physics than UMEP physics would? Also, if anyone has done it, which one has a harder work load.
I have talked to my teachers and careers counsellors and none of them had information on the average workload and how students have found it, although my spec teacher does have experience with the UMEP Math program as he got his qualification to work as a teacher of it.
So, for those who have done it, which one would you recommend based on ur experience?   

james.lhr

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Re: UMEP Math Vs physics?
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2021, 03:03:29 pm »
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Hey there!

I'm doing UMEP Maths this year and absolutely loving it.

I've done one semester so far (linear algebra), and although the content is dry as hell, the workload is literally non existent. Outside of class time you only need to dedicate at most an hour a week to do the exercises. It gives you an extra spare at school as well. If you are strong at Maths (and it seems like you are), you will find most of it a breeze. Although it doesn't directly overlap with any of Methods or Spesh, it will help for about 1/3 of Spesh (all of vectors & caculus), and transformations for Methods

However, if you want to "follow your passion", you should do UMEP Physics, as from what I heard it is a lot more interesting with hands on Lab sessions as well. But be aware that the workload is intense, and its way harder to get a 5.0

VCE Class of 2021
2020: Maths Methods [49 ~ 50.15]
2021: English [?] Chemistry [?] Physics [?] Specialist Maths [?] UMEP Maths [?]

Maths Methods Exam Prep Resources

mabajas76

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Re: UMEP Math Vs physics?
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2021, 10:02:37 pm »
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hmmmmmmm so I am facing a real life scenario of "Do a job that pays more but you enjoy less, or Do a job that pays less but you enjoy more."
I think I am now leaning towards the Math one, there is one hosted 2 minutes way from my house whilst the physics one is all the way in Parkville and right after school ends. It would also be easier to get help with from teachers and stuff. But reading up more on some of the subjects may end up changing my mind who knows. Thanks for ur reply tho!

james.lhr

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Re: UMEP Math Vs physics?
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2021, 07:44:04 am »
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Yep. If you want to optimise for ATAR and do less way less work choose UMEP. Dropping Bio and choosing it is honestly quite possibly the best academic decision I've made (Bio, or any other VCE subject, would've been 4 hours of class a week + a crap ton of homework and revision). Uni Maths gives me so much spare time which I can use for other subjects, and it's very easy to get a 5.0 compared to other subjects.
VCE Class of 2021
2020: Maths Methods [49 ~ 50.15]
2021: English [?] Chemistry [?] Physics [?] Specialist Maths [?] UMEP Maths [?]

Maths Methods Exam Prep Resources

ashmi

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Re: UMEP Math Vs physics?
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2021, 11:43:47 am »
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Hey mabajas76!

Although I haven't done UMEP myself, I know a few people that have and here is their piece of advice.

The first question you want to ask yourself is what do you think you are more likely to major in? (Physics or Maths?)
Here is just a summary of why a good chunk of my friends picked UMEP Physics over UMEP Maths:

The main reason all my friends picked to do UMEP Physics over UMEP Maths is that they wanted to enter the "Accelerated Mathematics" stream (MAST10008 and MAST10009. Note you need at least a raw of 38 in Specialist Maths). Now the big reason they did this over UMEP Maths is that by doing the AM stream, they would avoid a subject called "Real Analysis" (MAST20026). I have only been at Unimelb for one semester, but based on everyone I have talked to in regards to this subject 'Real Analysis', it is a killer. If you are thinking of taking a maths/mathematical physics major, my friends highly recommend holding off UMEP Maths and doing AM if you can in the first year just to avoid RA (Note: MAST10009 acts as an equivalent to MAST20026. You also save a subject slot can have another free spot to do whatever you want!).

If you do decide to do UMEP Physics and AM, you won't be able to do any Level 2 Physics subject except Lab and Comp 2 (as you would have not successfully completed all first-year maths subjects by the end of first-semester the first year). I also have a friend that did UMEP Physics last year and last semester he did Calc 2 and Linear Algebra Adv. This now allows him to take any level 2 maths/physics subject next semester as he meets all prerequisites. (Note: He is planning to do a physics major so he doesn't need to do RA)

Now on the other hand, if you do take UMEP Maths, you can absolutely take Level 2 maths at the start of your first year! This would be good for you if you are really keen on maths and really want to be extend your maths knowledge. The only problem is that you will definitely NOT be able to take any level 2 physics subjects as you would have not completed Physics 1 and Physics 2 (and you also cannot do them concurrently hence you have to wait for the second year to do level 2 physics subjects). You will also be in a position that you may have to take Real Analysis if you are intending to study a maths/mathematical physics major (which also means you will get a subject slot used). If you don't mind taking RA and have a strong passion for maths, I would say go for it!

However, if you want to "follow your passion", you should do UMEP Physics, as from what I heard it is a lot more interesting with hands on Lab sessions as well. But be aware that the workload is intense, and its way harder to get a 5.0

In regards to this, I sort of disagree with this being more intense and harder to get a 5.0. If there is something you should know, the Physics department here scales the exam quite nicely (I'm pretty sure they scaled my exam by at least 10% this year😂 in comparison to the maths department which barely scaled). The Physics exam here is only worth 60% in comparison to the Maths exams which usually are 80%. But I do agree with one thing and that is the is a larger workload (much more content) than what you would do in maths. It really is a matter of picking which one you are more comfortable with, more assignments and labs but less exam weighting or fewer assignments and high exam weighting. (And of course, what you are more passionate about). The labs can get a little intense because you do have to finish everything in 2.5 hours, but personally, I found them to be really fun! However, if labs don't fancy you maybe UMEP Maths might be better.

TL;DR
If you plan to do a maths/mathematical physics major -> UMEP Physics and get a high enough raw in Specialist Maths to do AM so you can avoid Real Analysis and have a free science elective spot to do whatever you want.
If you don't plan to do a maths/mathematical physics major but want to start doing level 2 physics asap (Don't do unless you have strong maths abilities) -> UMEP Physics and do Calc 2 and Linear Algebra in the first semester.
Any other option/you don't mind doing Real Analysis -> Do what you are most comfortable doing!! Pick the one you feel more enthusiastic about because you will ultimately do better in it.

If you have any questions on UMEP Physics, feel free to post them on this thread (my friends would be happy to answer any qs!)
Hope that sort of helps!

mabajas76

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Re: UMEP Math Vs physics?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2021, 03:19:41 pm »
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Ok thank you all for your replies! I am as of now much more interested in going into physics than math but I am only in year 11 so who knows that could change. So from my understanding:
If I do physics:
In first year, I canít do any second year physics subjects until semester 2/year 2 when I finish the required math subjects. However I can now do advanced math which allows me to skip real analysis which is a second year subject that sucks.
If I do math:
I have to do first year physics subjects but I can do second year math subjects, however I am not allowed to do advanced math and so if I end up going down the math or even mathematical physics path I will end up doing real analysis.

Wow this is getting even harder to choose..... If I do the math one I will have to do RA assuming I end up getting into that math pathway which I prob will have to look at, but it is less work load for next year. It also allows me to do second year subjects in first year. The physics one is more fun but harder and also means that I can't really do any second year subjects until I complete all the preresiquite math ones. It also has less emphasis on the exam so it is less stressful at the end of the year. But I also am not the biggest fans of pracs, they always seem irrelevant to the content or kinda pointless as you know the answer. It is also significantly harder to travel from my school to the lectures for physics.
How did ur friends find juggling school with the physics workload, like in terms of hours spent on it and stuff? What overlap did they find with VCE and how interesting did they find the content?
Thanks!

ashmi

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Re: UMEP Math Vs physics?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2021, 10:19:11 pm »
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Ok thank you all for your replies! I am as of now much more interested in going into physics than math but I am only in year 11 so who knows that could change. So from my understanding:
If I do physics:
In first year, I canít do any second year physics subjects until semester 2/year 2 when I finish the required math subjects. However I can now do advanced math which allows me to skip real analysis which is a second year subject that sucks.
The first sentence is correct only if you decide to do Calc 2 and Linear Algebra BOTH in the first semester (This means you miss out on the accelerated maths stream). You are absolutely right there and this can be done, but my friends would only recommend doing this if your maths abilities have very strong. Usually it is recommended to do Calc 2 one semester and then Linear Algebra in the next, but nothing is stopping you from doing both at the same time haha.

For the second sentence, that is also right! You can instead decide to do the Accelerated Maths stream (where a majority of my UMEP Physics friends are right now) and skip Real Analysis (Which also means you get a free subject slot for whatever you want. I'm also assuming that for this bit, you want to go to Unimelb and if you do, may as well do AM. It is like hitting two birds with one stone).

Wow this is getting even harder to choose..... If I do the math one I will have to do RA assuming I end up getting into that math pathway which I prob will have to look at, but it is less work load for next year. It also allows me to do second year subjects in first year. The physics one is more fun but harder and also means that I can't really do any second year subjects until I complete all the preresiquite math ones. It also has less emphasis on the exam so it is less stressful at the end of the year. But I also am not the biggest fans of pracs, they always seem irrelevant to the content or kinda pointless as you know the answer. It is also significantly harder to travel from my school to the lectures for physics.
How did ur friends find juggling school with the physics workload, like in terms of hours spent on it and stuff? What overlap did they find with VCE and how interesting did they find the content?
Thanks!

Sounds like a tough decision!
Yeah maths you will be able to start level 2 subjects straight away but physics you will have to wait at least a semester. If pracs aren't really your thing, it might be best to consider doing maths instead. After all, you don't want to do something you don't like! The pracs for Physics 1 this semester were quite interesting and I always learned something new from them (Trust me you never really know an answer to the prac until you do it).

My friends have said the following to the questions you have:
1. They found juggling the workload to not be bad depending on how much physics they have done previously. A few of them already did 3/4 Physics prior to applying and did score quite high in them and another actually did Unit 3/4 Physics and UMEP Physics concurrently. The one that was doing Unit 3/4 Physics and UMEP Physics actually did a total of 6 subjects (EAL, Method, Spesh, Chem, Physics and UMEP Physics) and he says the workload is difficult if you don't keep up. The others that only did a total of 5 subjects found it to be a similar scenario, if you don't keep up then that is when you start to have problems. UMEP Physics is like a recap of VCE Physics but with more content and a higher expectation, so if you study UMEP Physics, you pretty much covered all the 'hard areas' of VCE Physics (meaning you don't have to do as much practise questions if that makes sense). There is some massive overlap between the two!
In terms of hours, it really did depend on the topic. When they first started they put in very few hours of study (excluding Problem based classes and lectures), mainly for the lab component or jus finishing some worksheets for a class. However, when they started to introduce new content, they studied a bit more as there was a LOT of content in a short time frame (at least a good few hours a week). They balanced it quite well with VCE and they absolutely LOVED going to the lectures despite having the long travel times it takes to get there. Also, I'm not too sure if you know this, but the lectures are recorded! If you don't want to go, just watch the recorded version at home. They all did very well in it and do recommend it if you have a passion for physics. Just do be prepared that there is quite a few contact hours for the subject.

2. I sort of mentioned this above, but there is a lot of overlap (especially in the first semester). The second semester however has a lot more new content and that is when you need to make sure your maths abilities are quite good (lots of calculus). First semester was quite a hit for them as they were a little bit surprised with the workload (I also agree that Physics was my most content-heavy subject this semester) but after a bit of time they adjusted. Semester 1 only learnt a few new topics (maybe 5-6 key new topics?) but in Semester 2 a good chunk of everything was new. They were super enthusiastic and did love the content once the new things started to come up.

Hopefully that gives you somewhat of an insight to the UMEP Physics area. Let me know if you have more questions!